This page provides information on referring patients to the Mater Hospital and includes outpatient consultant services, pathology, radiology, emergency services and ECLS.

Select your referral type

Please select your referral type by clicking on one of the below options and the relevant information will be displayed for you.


Consultant outpatient clinics

All GPs can now refer to all consultants/specialties using Healthlink.

How does this work?
Electronic GP Referrals are sent in from the GP practice via HealthLink and integrated into our hospital system within 24 hours by our Central Referrals Office. We are the first hospital in the country to have this integrated system in place. Once a referral has been processed to our hospital system, an acknowledgement of receipt of referral is automatically communicated back to the GP via Healthlink.

What happens next?
When the referral has been triaged by the consultant, the following is communicated electronically to the GP:

-If a patient is for an outpatient appointment, an outpatient procedure or to be placed on an inpatient/daycase waiting list
-The triage status of the patient
-Average wait time of specialty/consultant as per the triage status
-Return to referrer - if an outpatient referral is to be returned to the GP, the reason for this will also be communicated back.

What if I am not signed up to Healthlink?
If you are not yet signed up to Healthlink, referrals can be sent as normal through the postal service and will be processed via our Central Referrals Office. This will apply for an interim period only as the ultimate aim is to manage all referrals electronically through Healthlink. 

Pathology / Blood tests

Blood tests

Patients must have fully completed request form or letter with them when they come in for their blood test. Please ensure the letter or form includes all relevant information - please see Pathology Specimen acceptance criteria.

Patients can book appointments online or over the phone. For more information on appointments see Blood Tests. Results are issued directly to the GP.

Outpatient blood tests are carried out in the Whitty Wing, Level 1. The best entrance to use is the Whitty entance on the North Circular Road

Pathology lab referrals

The pathology laboratory provides local, regional and national diagnostic services in all laboratory medicine disciplines. See Pathology Test Repetoire document for listing of services provided.

It is essential that users of the pathology service adhere to laboratory policy when submitting samples for testing. This is important to ensure speedy and accurate provision of results. Of particular importance are the following:

  • GPs should avail of Healthlink for all laboratory orders and to receive reports electronically.
  • If this is not possible, GP’s should submit a fully completed and legible request form with all relevant details completed.
  • The emergency telephone contact number of the GP should be provided, in the event of a result requiring a clinical intervention, becoming available outside normal GP clinic hours.
  • Samples must be transported appropriately and in a timely manner to avoid delays which may affect the results. See our Instructions for GP’s for transport of specimens to the pathology laboratory.

Information on specific tests, turnaround times and required specimen types for all pathology investigations are outlined in the following documents:

In cases where more than one blood specimen is to be taken from a patient, there is a recommended sequence in which specimens should be taken. Please consult the document titled 'Order of draw for GPs' for information.

Data Protection

Our pathology laboratory complies with the Mater Hospital Data Protection policy which details the rights of patients and staff members, and the obligations of hospital staff to act in an ethical and responsible manner in maintaining the security, confidentiality and integrity of all personal information, in line with the Hospital Confidentiality & Data Protection Act 2003 and HSE Standards and Recommended Practices for Healthcare Record Management. 

Laboratory Quality Policy & MEDLIS Newsletter

Laboratory Accreditation

-The Mater Hospital pathology laboratory is accredited by the Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB) to undertake testing as detailed in the scope of tests listed on the INAB website (Registration Number 232MT) in compliance with International Standard ISO 15189 and the EU blood Directive 2002/98/EC. 

Departmental Opening Hours:

DepartmentOpening hours
Blood transfusion Routine hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 9am to 12pm
Clinical chemistry and diagnostic endocrinology Routine hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 9am to 12pm
Haematology Routine hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 9am to 12pm
Histopathology/ cytopathology Routine hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, Saturday, 9am to 12pm
Immunology Routine hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 9am to 12pm
Microbiology Routine hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 9am to 12pm
Central specimen reception Routine hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm


GP referrals are accepted at the Mater Hospital for:

  • General rays
  • Chest x-rays
  • Dexa scans (Bone Density)
  • Ultrasound
  • Barium follow through
  • Barium Swallow/meal

A referral letter is required for all of the above services provided by the radiology department.

The referral letter must:

  • Be on headed paper and signed by a registered prescriber including IMC number
  • Include all patient demographics are provided (Name, address, date of birth, contact number)
  • Include all relevant clinical information for the exam requested
  • We accept referrals by post, fax and hand delivery.

Getting results

A hard copy of the radiology results will be sent to the referring GP within 7-10 working days of the exam being performed.

Emergency services

There are four main emergency services in the Mater Hospital. Below is an outline of when and how to use/refer to each service.

1. Emergency department - our walk in emergency services are available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. There is a €100 charge but this does not apply if patients have a GP referral letter. Patients with minor injuries, STIs or eye emergencies should be referred to the appropriate service below instead of the Emergency Department.
For more information, see our emergency department page here.

2. Smithfield rapid injury clinic - this is a walk in service. €100 charge applies without GP letter. Please note this service is for acute minor injuries only. 
For more information, see our rapid injury clinic page here

3. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) clinic - 3 clinics per week. No referral required, however patients must ring to make appointment.Urgent appointments outside of clinic hours, patients must go to the main Emergency Department.
For more information, see our STI clinic page here.

4. Eye casualty - GP or optician referral letter required for this service. For more information, please see our eye casualty page here.

GP Liaison Nurse
We have a GP Liaison Nurse in the hospital. The role of the GP Liaison Nurse is to act as a communicative link between our Emergency Department and local community services to provide a complete and enhanced service to the patient.

You can contact the GP Liaison Nurse from Monday to Friday  from 7.30am - 4pm on 01 8032835.


ECLS (Extracorporeal Life Support) Service

The Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) service, based in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in the Mater Hospital, provides comprehensive support for patients with acute potentially reversible lung or heart failure. Extra-Corporeal Life Support (ECLS) can also be known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Worldwide use of ECLS for adult patients has increased over the last 10 years and it is generally accepted that the outcome after ECLS has improved where there is careful patient selection and the experience and technical expertise of ECLS service is well established. 

Patients being considered for ECLS in the Mater Hospital ICU may be referred from other hospitals in Ireland. 

Initial referral:
The initial request for consideration for ECLS should be made through the Mater Hospital ICU Senior Registrar who can be contacted on (01) 8032000. The referral will then be discussed with the ICU Consultant on duty for ECLS. 

Guidelines and requirements:
Please ensure that the below guidelines for indications and contra-indications are noted prior to referring patients for consideration for ECLS. Also please note that these are guidelines and if  you require further advice, please contact the Mater Hospital ICU.

Where possible, members of the Mater Hospital ECLS service team will attend the referring hospital to directly review the patient for consideration for ECLS.  If appropriate, ECLS may be initiated in the referral hospital prior to transfer to the Mater ICU.